Cooler Heads Digest

In the News

Beyond the Oil Spill
Mario Loyola, National Review, 2 August 2010

A Free Market Energy Vision
Robert Bradley,, 16 July 2010

Another Rig Leaves the Gulf
Greg Pollowitz, Planet Gore, 15 July 2010

In Contempt of Court
William Murchison, American Spectator, 15 July 2010

Killing the Green Wave
Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun, 14 July 2010

Climategate and the Big Green Lie
Clive Crook, The Atlantic, 14 July 2010

For Left, Gore Still Matters
Darren Samuelsohn, Politico, 14 July 2010

Senate Majority Leader Reid: Cap-and-Trade Is Not in My Vocabulary
Marlo Lewis,, 13 July 2010

Virginia AG Defends Climategate Suit
David Sherfinski, Washington Examiner, 13 July 2010

Alarmism Not Working for Environmentalists
David A. Fahrenthold & Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, 12 July 2010

News You Can Use

Sea Ice Growing

The Reference Frame this week noted that the total global sea ice anomaly is positive, that is, current sea ice coverage exceeds the historical average.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Energy Rationing Mired in Senate

The comprehensive energy-rationing bill that the Senate was supposed to take up this week could now be ready to go to the floor as early as the week of 26th July.  That was the news that Darren Samuelsohn of Politico reported on Tuesday.  Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) is working on three titles: one containing oil spill provisions; another on measures to promote and require more energy efficiency; and a third with lots of provisions to mandate various types of clean energy and create green jobs.

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) is still trying to put together a fourth title on cap-and-trade.  His latest efforts are aimed at putting together a cap-and-trade program for electric utilities only.  The Edison Electric Institute (the trade association representing investor-owned utilities) supports Kerry’s effort, but even here problems have arisen this week.  In negotiations with EEI and environmental pressure groups, EEI said that in return for supporting a cap-and-trade program the bill would need to relax some other Clean Air Act standards.  That would help them lower the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The environmental pressure groups immediately objected to gutting the Clean Air Act.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will only allow Kerry’s cap-and-trade title into the bill if Kerry can show that he has the 60 votes necessary.  Right now, I don’t think he has 50, so my guess is that the Senate will not consider cap-and-trade in the three weeks remaining before the August  recess starts.  Nor is it likely that the Senate will take it up this fall before the November 2 congressional elections.  That leaves some small chance that Congress will convene in a lame duck session after the election and try to sneak cap-and-trade through in the face of intense and widespread public opposition.

A more immediate question is whether Reid will be able to bring the three other titles of an energy-rationing package to the floor before the August recess.  If he does, it’s not clear that they have the 60 votes required for passage of a bill that doesn’t have cap-and-trade in it.  We shall see.  The Senate calendar is all jammed up with other big items (such as the Kagan nomination), so it may be that the Senate will not be able to get around to it.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, clearly isn’t going to give up without a fight.  Here’s what she said: “It’s so critical to start fighting the global warming threat right now. We can’t afford to wait another year or two and hope for the best.”  Of course, that was in a column in the Huffington Post on June 2, 2008.

House Committee Votes To End Oil Production

The House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up and passed out Chairman Henry Waxman’s (D-Beverly Hills) “Blowout Prevention Act” on Thursday without a single No vote.  Representative John Shadegg (R-Az.) voted Present.  All the Democrats and all the other Republicans voted Yes.  I emphasize this point because it’s incredible that anyone could vote for Waxman’s bill.  They should be deeply ashamed.

H. R. 5626 contains provisions that can be used to stop all new oil production in the United States-onshore as well as offshore; on private land as well as public.  My CEI colleague Marlo Lewis explains why here.  To summarize the details in non-technical language, the bill would put all “high-risk wells” under new federal regulations and allow environmental pressure groups to sue in federal court to prevent licensing such wells if they could lead “to extensive and widespread harm to public health, safety, and the environment.”

Harm is not defined, but could certainly include global warming.  EPA after all has already determined that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare.  The fact that the Republicans went along with this monstrosity should start alarm bells ringing across America.  My understanding is that the House Natural Resources Committee has jurisdiction over this particular provision of the bill, so it will be interesting to see if Chairman Nick Joe Rahall (D-WV) exercises his jurisdiction or takes a pass and allows the bill to come to the House floor as is.

Here is what Dan Kish, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research, said to me about H. R. 5626 after the committee vote: “This bill federalizes every oil and gas well in the United States, and forces States to accept the Federal oversight of all permitting, either directly or by the States doing the Fed’s bidding.  It is a huge Washington power grab of both onshore and offshore wells, including on State and private lands.  This is a poor remake of the Beverly Hillbillies, where Jed Clampett would have been in violation of federal law for discovering oil on his own property without a federally-sanctioned permit.  And Jethro would be sitting in congress voting Aye on it.”  Kish was chief of staff of the House Natural Resources Committee and a professional staff member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  He knows as much as anyone about federal regulation of oil production.

Across the States

West Virginia

The Environmental Protection Agency this week postponed the deadline for the Region 3 Administrator’s recommended determination whether or not to veto Arch Coal’s Spruce Fork mountain-top removal coal mining project in Logan County, West Virginia. The delay is further evidence that the EPA is unsure how to proceed on its regulatory crackdown on surface coal mining in Appalachia. Last April, the EPA proposed new conductivity (ie, salinity) effluent standards under the Clean Water Act, designed to protect the Mayfly, and order of insect that isn’t an endangered species. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson conceded that the new regulations would effectively outlaw future mountain-top removal mining, despite the fact that coal mining is the largest industry in West Virginia, and a significant industry in Virginia and Kentucky. Two weeks ago, however, the EPA gave a conditional Clean Water Act permit to Arch Coal’s proposed mountain-top removal mine at the Pine Creek Surface Mine in Logan County, which would seem to violate its earlier assurances that the practice would be banned. So it’s unclear how EPA is proceeding.

New Jersey

Americans for Prosperity’s New Jersey chapter is gearing up to support a legislation to withdraw New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)., a regional cap-and-0trade energy rationing scheme. Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll and Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose introduced A3147, a bill to repeal the Global Warming Response Act of 2007. To learn more, click here.

Around the World

Energy Rationing in Retreat in Pacific

The Democratic Party of Japan came to power promising the most stringent emissions reduction target of any industrialized economy – 25 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. That pledge is now in doubt after the DPJ last week lost its majority in the upper house. The climate push had proven very contentious and contributed to the DPJ’s setback. This follows developments in Australia in late June, when Prime Minister Julia Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd after campaigning on a vow to review plans for a carbon-trading system.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary, check out the Coalition’s website,

In the News

The Greenhouse Protection Racket
Marlo Lewis, Pajamas Media, 9 July 2010

Climate Change: A Collective Flight from Reality
Roger Helmer, Washington Times, 9 July 2010

Markets, Not Social Values, Should Determine Price of Electricity
William Yeatman & Amy Oliver Cooke, Denver Daily News, 9 July 2010

Climate Clique Looks after Its Own
Gerald Warner, Daily Telegraph, 8 July 2010

Austerity Green: EU Fatigue for Renewables
Matthew Sinclair, Master, 7 July 2010

Oil Sands Push Tests U.S.-Canada Ties
Phred Dvorak & Edward Welsch, Wall Street Journal, 7 July 2010

Putting Wind Power into Perspective
Greg Pollowitz, Planet Gore, 7 July 2010

Maryland’s Smart Grid Fiasco
William Yeatman, Baltimore Sun, 5 July 2010

News You Can Use

Hefty Cost of Fuel Switching

Proponents of a carbon tax often claim that natural gas is a ready alternative to coal for the generation of electricity, but according to a new study by the American Public Power Association, the fuel switch would cost $680 billion.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Energy Rationers Still Can’t Get Their Act Together

The majority staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee have spent the week putting together an energy-rationing package to bring to the floor, which Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) planned to do next week.  But it has already been reported that the package won’t be ready by next week.  That is apparently because decisions on some key issues remain to be made.  This is not news.  The Democratic majority have been trying to put something together that can get 60 votes since last fall.

First, it was the Kerry-Boxer bill, which was similar to the Waxman-Markey bill passed by the House on 26th June 2009 by a 219-212 vote.  Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) moved that bill out of her Environment and Public Works Committee last November before the UN global warming pow-wow in Copenhagen.  But the public’s overwhelmingly negative reaction to Waxman-Markey meant that it was dead in the Senate.

Then Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) spent months working with Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on an alternative described as less ambitious and capable of attracting bi-partisan support.  Graham eventually dropped out, most likely because of the blowback against him in South Carolina, and Kerry and Lieberman finally introduced their bill in May.  Like Kerry-Boxer, the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act has no chance of gaining the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.  I doubt that it could get 50 votes.

That leaves it up to Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  In the spring of 2009, Bingaman passed several measures out of his committee with the support of ranking Republican Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).  These include a renewable standard for electric utilities, new building energy efficiency standards based on California’s, and a variety of other lesser “clean energy” provisions.  That is reportedly the basis of the package now being put together.  Like most other big bills brought to the Senate (and House) floor these days, the bill is being put together in secret, so it’s hard to find out what might be in it.  However, it has been reported that it does not contain a cap-and-trade scheme or mandatory targets and timetables to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The obstacle remains how to get the 60 votes to invoke cloture and pass the bill.  The other major decision is whether to attach it to a bill addressing BP’s Gulf oil leak disaster or to replace the House version of Waxman-Markey.  If the latter, the Senate would then send H. R. 2454 back to the House in hopes of adding cap-and-trade in a House-Senate conference committee and passing it in a lame duck session after the November elections.

The fact that Senate Democrats have not been able to take the first step toward enacting energy-rationing legislation in the past year and still seem stymied is good news for American consumers, workers, and taxpayers.  With any luck, the Senate will not pass anything this year.  Even if it does, it’s not clear that the House would go along.

Climategate Update

Another Week, Another Whitewash

Only days after the Penn State University released its whitewash report on Professor Michael Mann’s involvement in the Climategate (which we reported on last week), a supposedly blue-ribbon panel did the same for University of East Anglia’s Phil Jones, the central figure in the scandal. Incredibly, the Muir Russell panel failed to address climate science, and lead investigators didn’t even bother to attend interviews of Jones. Needless to say, “This is another example of the establishment circling the wagons and defending their position,” as CEI’s Myron Ebell told the New York Times.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary, check out the Coalition’s website,

In the News

The All-American Light Bulb Dims, as Freedom Flickers
Deroy Murdock, National Review, 2 July 2010

A Wellspring of Politics, Not Science
William O’ Keefe, Washington Times, 2 July 2010

Running out of Little Green Countries
Chris Horner, AmSpecBlog, 1 July 2010

Blowout Prevention Act Would Blow Out Domestic Production
Marlo Lewis,, 1 July 2010

The Windsurfer’s Windfall
Max Brindle, American Spectator, 29 June 2010

Everyone Knows…Except the Experts
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 29 June 2010

They Loved BP & Enron
Robert Bradley,, 28 June 2010

Is Obama Putting Ideology above Science?
Detroit News editorial, 27 June 2010

News You Can Use

Price Tag of Obama’s Moratorium

According to a new analysis by the Heritage Foundation, President Barack Obama’s offshore oil ban, if extended through 2035, would:

  • Reduce GDP by $5.5 trillion
  • Reduce the average consumption expenditures for a family of four by $2,381 per year (and exceeds $4,000 in 2035)
  • Reduce job growth by more than 1 million jobs by 2015 and more than 1.5 million jobs by 2030

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

White House Convenes Climate Meeting

Twenty-three Senators finally met with President Barack Obama Tuesday morning to discuss how to move forward with energy-rationing legislation.  Darren Samuelsohn and Coral Davenport reported in Politico that the President made it clear that he wants the Senate to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions, but that he recognizes that it may be necessary to settle for something much more modest than the House Waxman-Markey bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has indicated that he still wants the Senate to take up energy-rationing legislation when Senators return from the Fourth of July recess on 12th July.  Everything else remains to be decided.  First is the question of whether energy-rationing provisions should be attached to a bill to address BP’s Gulf oil leak or whether it should be a stand-alone bill.  If it is a stand-alone bill, then it will probably be brought to the floor as H. R. 2454, the Waxman-Markey bill which the House passed by a 219 to 212 vote on 26th June 2009.  That could keep alive the possibility of calling a conference committee and then trying to pass something in a lame duck session after the election.

What might be included in a Senate anti-energy package is still up in the air.

One Possibility:  Utility-only Energy Rationing

One possibility that has been floated and was reportedly suggested by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Me.) at the meeting with President Obama is a cap-and-trade scheme that covers electric utilities only.  I’m not sure why a utilities-only cap-and-trade scheme would be any easier to pass than an economy-wide one, since everyone understands that it would only be the first step and that for the first ten or fifteen years an economy-wide cap-and-trade really only hits coal.

Another Possibility: Bingaman’s Anti-energy Bill

Another possibility that has been the most likely for a couple months is that the Senate will take up the anti-energy provisions passed out of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year.  These include a renewable standard for utilities, new building energy efficiency standards modeled on California’s, and several other “clean energy” provisions.  If that is the way Reid decides to go, then it will put Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), the Chairman of the Committee, in charge of the legislation.

That makes sense for several reasons.  First, Bingaman is not Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), a legislative lightweight who is not much more popular with Senate Democrats than he is with Republicans.  Nor is he Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who is even more of a lightweight than Kerry.  Second, Bingaman passed these provisions out of his committee with the support of the ranking Republican, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), so he starts with Republican support and has every prospect of gaining more.  And third, Bingaman’s package does not put a price on CO2 emissions.  This makes it much harder to build public opposition to it as an energy tax.

The death of Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) complicates the situation.  Majority Leader Reid is short one vote until a successor is appointed by West Virginia’s Governor, Joe Manchin.  But Reid might be worse off after a new Senator is appointed.  That’s because Manchin is the most ferocious opponent of anti-coal policies among high-ranking elected Democrats.

Across the States

What Is EPA Doing in West Virginia?

On April 1st, the Environmental Protection Agency promulgated new Clean Water Act regulations for the discharge of conductivity (i.e., salinity) from surface coal mining operations in West Virginia. The regulations were established in order to protect the Mayfly, a short-lived insect that isn’t even an endangered species. At the press conference to unveil the new standards, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson conceded that the new regulations were stringent enough to outlaw mountain top removal mining. Last week, however, the EPA notified Arch Coal Inc.’s Coal-Mac subsidiary that its MTR project at the Pine Creek Surface Mine in Logan County, West Virginia, would receive a Clean Water Act permit. EPA’s coal crackdown engendered a bipartisan rebuke from almost every state and federal politician in West Virginia, so perhaps the EPA is signaling that it intends to be flexible. Tellingly, the EPA did not make the permit approval public.

ClimateGate Update

Mann Exonerated by Penn State Panel Designed To Exonerate Mann

To the surprise of no one, Professor Michael Mann, (creator of the debunked Hockey Stick global temperature reconstruction), was cleared by a Penn State University investigation prompted by Mann’s involvement in the ClimateGate scandal. PSU initiated the investigation in November, 2009, at the behest of alumni. It appointed a panel and tasked it with answering these questions:

I. Did Mann engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly: any actions with the intent to suppress or falsify data?;
2. any actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4,as suggested by Phil Jones?;
3. any misuse of privileged or confidential information available to you in your capacity as an academic scholar?;
4. any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities?

In January, the panel exonerated Mann on the first three charges. After learning of PSU’s decision, Dr. Richard Lindzen, the Alfred Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told PSU investigators, “It’s thoroughly amazing. I mean these are issues that he explicitly stated in the emails. I’m wondering what’s going on?” Hear, hear!

That January ruling left little doubt that the “investigation” was a showcase to clear Mann, even though the panel decided that the fourth charge necessitated further inquiry, the results of which were released yesterday. As CEI’s Myron Ebell told the New York Times, “It’s no surprise that it’s a whitewash of Dr. Mann’s misconduct, because it was designed to be a whitewash.”

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary, check out the Coalition’s website,

In the News

EU Countries Slashing Green Budgets
Patrice Hill, Washington Times, 25 June 2010

Markets Should Drive Colorado Energy Industry
William Yeatman & Amy Oliver Cooke, Denver Business Journal, 25 June 2010

Can a Carbon Cap Pass?
Myron Ebell, Politico, 25 June 2010

Climate Policy Not as Simple as Gore Thinks
Jim Manzi, The New Republic, 24 June 2010

Paul McCartney Compares Climate Skeptics to Holocaust Deniers
Josh Miller,, 24 June 2010

A New Low for Science-the Black List
Fran Smith,, 23 June 2010

Obama’s BP Time
Michael Lynch,, 23 June 2010

Anti-Climate Law Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot
Dennis Theriault, San Jose Mercury News, 23 June 2010

Crude Stereotypes
Matt Purple, Spectator, 21 June 2010

News You Can Use

EPA Exposes Energy Independence Myth

Senator John Kerry claims that his cap-and-trade bill, the American Power Act, would make the U.S. “energy independent,” but according to the EPA’s economic analysis, the bill would raise gasoline prices to $5.00 a gallon in 2050 yet would leave U.S. petroleum consumption about where it is today.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

President Cancels Climate Meeting with Senators

President Barack Obama had to cancel his Wednesday morning meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators to discuss the need to pass energy-rationing legislation because he had to talk with General Stanley McChrystal before firing him as head of our Afghan campaign.  The meeting has not yet been rescheduled.

Despite Cancellation, Democratic Senators “Inspired”

Senate Democrats did go ahead on Thursday with their third meeting in three weeks to discuss how to proceed to the floor in July with an energy-rationing package.  Reporters talking to Senators as they came out of the meeting were greeted with uniformly glowing accounts of what happened at the meeting.

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) told The Hill: “This was without doubt one of the most motivating, energized, and even inspirational caucuses that I’ve been part of since I’ve been here in the Senate in 26 years.”

Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) chimed in that the meeting had been “absolutely thrilling.”  Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was also over the moon: “A number of senators said this was the best caucus they’ve ever attended.  It was really very, very powerful. It was inspirational, quite frankly.”

So what did Senate Democrats decide to do?  They decided to include energy-rationing provisions in a bill to punish BP and the oil industry for BP’s Gulf oil leak.  This would force Republicans opposed to energy rationing to take a very difficult vote against the BP spill bill.

This strategy was first reported by Politico three weeks ago (which I discussed in the Digest here), so I’m not sure what made the meeting so exciting.  Perhaps they finally agreed on what provisions to include in the package?  No, they reported no progress on deciding the actual contents of the legislation.

My suspicion is that Senate Democrats, with no substantive progress to show for their three meetings, decided that they had to make a public show of progress.  Describing the meeting as exciting, inspiring, and thrilling was the best they could come up with.  They can try to hide it, but the fact is that the Good Bus Cap-n-Tax has run out of gas and is slowing to a stop.

The question is whether the Democrats’ huge Senate majority (plus a few Republicans) will be able to pass some modest package of regulations and mandates that will raise energy prices and cripple the economy.

Across the States

Marlo Lewis, from

Louisiana Judge Overturns Obama’s Drilling Ban

On Wednesday, Judge Martin Feldman of the Eastern Louisiana District Court lifted the Obama administration’s six-month moratorium on all oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in waters over 500 feet in depth. Feldman held  that the moratorium was “arbitrary and capricious” and would do “irreparable harm” to businesses that own, operate, and service vessels used to support offshore drilling – an industry critical to the region’s economy. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar imposed the moratorium on May 28 in response to the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill.

Around the World

Chris Horner, from Pajamas Media

Spanish Green Jobs Critic Receives Bomb Threat

Spain’s Dr. Gabriel Calzada-the author of a damning study concluding that Spain’s “green jobs” energy program has been a catastrophic economic failure-was mailed a dismantled bomb on Tuesday by solar energy company Thermotechnic. The bomb threat is just the latest intimidation Dr. Calzada has faced since releasing his report and following up with articles in Expansion. A minister from Spain’s Socialist government called the rector of King Juan Carlos University-Dr. Calzada’s employer-seeking Calzada’s ouster. Calzada was not fired, but he was stripped of half of his classes at the university. My book, Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America,  details the Spanish “green jobs” disaster uncovered by Dr. Calzada, plus similar “green” economic calamities occurring in Germany and Denmark-also programs Obama has praised-as well as in Italy and elsewhere.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary, check out the Coalition’s website,

In the News

He Blinded Me with Science
Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online, 18 June 2010

Obama’s Energy Push Is Divorced from Reality
Charles Krauthammer, Investor’s Business Daily, 18 June 2010

The Primary Problems with Wind Power
Jerry Graf,, 17 June 2010

Senate Liberals Threaten Opposition to an Anti-Energy Bill
Alexander Bolton, The Hill, 17 June 2010

The Oilers vs. The Stealer
George Neumayr, American Spectator, 17 June 2010

Sen. Kerry’s Keen Sense of Euro Green Scene
Chris Horner, Planet Gore, 16 June 2010

Brava, Sen. Murkowski
Marlo Lewis,, 14 June 2010

The Senate’s Global Warming Circus
Iain Murray, Washington Times, 14 June 2010

Movie Star Misses Mark on Mining
William Yeatman, Human Events, 14 June 2010

Climate Change: What the Polls Really Show
Andrew Kohut, New York Times, 11 June 2010

News You Can Use

IPCC Exposed

From Climate Change: What Do We Know about the IPCC?, in press for Progress in Physical Geography, by the University of East Anglia’s Mike Hulme:

“Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous. That particular consensus judgment, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies.”

Jason Scott Johnston, Professor and Director of the Program on Law, Environment and Economy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, performed a cross examination of the IPCC’s evidence for anthropogenic climate change, and concluded:

“on virtually every major issue in climate change science, the [reports of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and other summarizing work by leading climate establishment scientists have adopted various rhetorical strategies that seem to systematically conceal or minimize what appear to be fundamental scientific uncertainties or even disagreements.”

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Democrats Can’t Find the Votes

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) held the second meeting of his Democratic caucus on Thursday to try to hammer out a deal on an anti-energy and/or energy rationing bill to bring to the Senate floor in July.  Little progress was made beyond the fact that everyone seems to agree that they cannot round up the sixty votes needed to pass a cap-and-trade bill such as Senator John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) American Power Act.  One idea being considered is to replace the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill passed by the House on June 26, 2009 with some place-holder provisions, pass that on the Senate floor, and then hold it until after the election when a conference committee could then put an energy-rationing bill together during a lame-duck session.  Perhaps enough defeated Democrats (who no longer need to worry about the interests of their States but are now interested in their next job in the administration or as lobbyists) would then be willing to vote for it to reach sixty votes.  This is possible-in fact, we have learned that anything is possible in a lame-duck session-but not easy to achieve.

Obama Fails To Convince

President Barack Obama gave a nationally-televised speech from the Oval Office on Tuesday on the BP oil leak in the Gulf and the need to create a new clean-energy economy that will get us off oil.  Like most of Obama’s speeches, it was articulate without being intellectually coherent or persuasive.  Media commentators were uniformly negative in their reviews.  The most perceptive was a video compilation by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show of eight presidents beginning with Nixon vowing to get the U. S. off oil.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary, check out the Coalition’s website,

In the News

Senate Surrenders to the EPA
Washington Examiner editorial, 11 June 2010

Italian Green Jobs: Where’s the Meatball?
Carlo Stagnaro,, 11 June 2010

No, It’s Not about Oil, But Oil Is Good
Marlo Lewis,, 10 June 2010

BP Is Asking for Punishment, Literally
Chris Horner, Daily Caller, 10 June 2010

Michigan Senators Sell Out
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 10 June 2010

Barbara Boxer’s Upside
William Yeatman & Jeremy Lott, American Spectator, 8 June 2010

The Spill, the Scandal, the President
Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone, 8 June 2010

Tapping the Well of Freedom
Iain Murray, National Review, 7 June 2010

News You Can Use

Biomass: Not So Green

Because forests absorb greenhouse gases much more slowly than previously thought, it takes a biomass burning power plant 20 years to realize emissions savings over a coal fired power plant, and 90 years if it replaces a natural gas power plant, according to a new study commissioned by the Massachusetts government.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Murkowski Resolution Defeated

The Senate on Thursday defeated the Murkowski Resolution by a vote of 47 to 53.  Six Democrats joined all 41 Republicans in voting for S. J. Res. 26 to block the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare and therefore must be regulated by the Clean Air Act.  The six Democrats were Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Jay Rockefeller (WV), Evan Bayh (Ind.), and David Pryor (Ark.).

Opponents had to work overtime to defeat Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) Resolution.  Environmental pressure groups spent millions of dollars in the last few weeks on radio and television advertising and on grassroots mobilization.  The White House issued a sternly-worded veto threat on Tuesday.  I even heard that an appeal for phone calls to the Senate was sent to President Obama’s Organizing for America e-mail list of 13 million names.

Reid’s Last Second Machinations

But by Wednesday, it was clear that all of their efforts were not going to be enough to defeat the Resolution.  So Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised to hold a vote later in the year on a bill introduced by Senator Rockefeller that would delay the implementation of Clean Air Act regulations for two years.  That was enough to peel away the votes of Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) and several others.

Although I doubt that anyone in the Senate is counting on Reid to keep his promise, it was a remarkable concession to have to make.  It reveals that the Democratic leadership and the White House realized that they were in deep trouble if the Senate passed the Murkowski Resolution.  My guess is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told the White House and Reid that she would have a hard time preventing a House vote if the Senate voted yes.  That’s because 170 House members, including 25 Democrats, have already co-sponsored identical resolutions and there are a number of Democrats who voted for the Waxman-Markey energy-rationing bill who think that a vote against energy rationing now might help them save their seats in the November elections.

What’s Next?

This was therefore not just a symbolic vote, as opponents have claimed for months.  It was a very important vote that will reverberate through the election campaign.  Nor is it the end of efforts to block EPA from implementing regulations that will suffocate the economy.  There is clearly majority support in the Senate and House at least to delay EPA implementation of emissions regulations.  A vote on the Rockefeller bill, S. 3072, may or may not occur, but there are a number of other avenues still open: the lawsuits filed against the Endangerment Finding; a House discharge petition to bring the Resolution of Disapproval to the floor; a rider to the EPA appropriations bill could be offered this fall to remove funding for implementing any greenhouse gas regulations; and next year the new Congress may be much more hostile to the Endangerment Finding and to energy-rationing policies in general.

Highlights and Lowlights

I listened to much of the six hours of Senate floor debate on C-Span.  Anyone who missed it who would like to hear some of the speeches can find them archived here.  Senator Murkowski did an excellent job explaining the issues and what was at stake and why even supporters of energy-rationing legislation (as she is herself) should vote to block EPA.  The speeches of the Chairman and Ranking Republican of the Environment and Public Works Committee provided a sharp contrast in intellectual seriousness.  Ranking Republican James Inhofe (R-Okla.) gave a cogent and factually accurate speech that summarized the whole issue.  Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), on the other hand, let loose with howler after ridiculous howler.  I shouldn’t be unfair to Senator Boxer, however.  Many of the other Senators opposed to the Resolution spoke just as much foolish nonsense.  I should single out Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) as one of them.  Kerry is the chief sponsor of the two Senate cap-and-trade bills, but is as clueless as Boxer.

Three other floor speeches should be mentioned.  Senator John McCain’s (R-Az.) speech was made possible by his Republican primary opponent, J. D. Hayworth.  I expect we will hear many other good conservative speeches from McCain between now and 24th August.  Senator Webb gave an excellent analysis of what was at stake: “I do not believe that Congress should cede its authority over an issue as important as climate change to unelected officials of the Executive Branch….  Without proper boundaries, this finding could be the first step in a long and expensive regulatory process that could lead to overly stringent and very costly controls on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.  Congress – and not the EPA – should make important policies, and be accountable to the American people for them.”  Then, of course, Webb voted No.  I guess there wasn’t time to re-write his speech after he switched his vote.

Senator Rockefeller summed up his reasons for voting Yes: “I don’t want EPA turning out the lights on America.”  Fifty-three of his Democratic colleagues disagreed.  They now bear full responsibility for the dire economic consequences of EPA’s regulatory onslaught.

Around the World


The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change today finishes two weeks of testy climate treaty negotiations in Bonn. The Bolivian representative kicked off the conference by accusing wealthy nations of bad faith for inserting loopholes into their voluntary pledges to reduce greenhouse gases. Then, a block of developing countries in Bonn moved to lower the UNFCCC’s official target for a maximum temperature increase, from 2 degrees Celsius to 1.5 degree Celsius, despite two decades of diplomatic failure to achieve a legally binding treaty for any emissions reductions. However, this effort was scuttled by Saudi Arabia and other OPEC states. Finally, outgoing UNFCCC chairman Yvo de Boer concluded the Bonn talks with a warning that a climate treaty is impossible until 2011, thus implying the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, this December in Mexico (for which the Bonn conference was preparatory) will fail.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary check out the Coalition’s website,

In the News

UVA’s Defense of Mann: Back-off, He’s a Scientist
Chris Horner, Pajamas Media, 4 June 2010

EPA Puts Ideology ahead of Common Sense
Washington Examiner editorial, 4 June 2010

Carbon Offsets Deal Hit by Bribery Allegations
Michael Peel & Fiona Harvey, Financial Times, 4 June 2010

Another Reason To Nix the Endangerment Finding
Marlo Lewis,, 3 June 2010

Sinking Climate Change
Cal Thomas, Washington Examiner, 3 June 2010

Kerry’s Big Business Buyoff
William Yeatman & Jeremy Lott, American Spectator, 3 June 2010

The Death Spiral for Climate Alarmism Continues
Kenneth P. Green,, 2 June 2010

The Lessons of the GM Bankruptcy
Paul Ingrassia, Wall Street Journal, 1 June 2010

The West’s Wrong Turn on Natural Resources
Joseph Sternberg, Wall Street Journal, 1 June 2010

UVA, Cuccinelli: Chilling
Richmond Times Dispatch editorial, 30 May 2010

News You Can Use

Tuvalu Is Growing

Tuvalu has been the face of small island nation states during international negotiations for a climate treaty. In 2003, for example, Tuvalu’s prime minister earned headlines by presenting the United Nations with a bill for the damages caused to small islands by rising sea-levels. So it should come as a great relief to the people of Tuvalu that 86% of the islands that comprise the country are growing thanks to sediment and coral accretion, according to a study this week from the New Scientist.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

President Pitches a Climate/BP Bill

President Barack Obama renewed his call for comprehensive energy-rationing legislation in a speech Wednesday in Pittsburgh.  The President argued that BP’s leaking deep sea oil well in the Gulf of Mexico was another compelling reason for passing such legislation in order to get the country off foreign-sorry, domestically-produced-oil.

Obama admitted that “the votes may not be there now, but I intend to find them in the coming months” in the Senate to pass the Kerry-Lieberman bill.  “I will continue to make the case for a clean energy future wherever and whenever I can.  I will work with anyone to get this done. And we will get this done.”

Politico then reported Thursday morning that the White House is planning a big push for energy-rationing in the Senate after the financial regulation bill is signed into law, which they think will happen around the Fourth of July.  Mike Allen, Jake Sherman, and Tim Alberta further reported that “the strategy now will be to include climate provisions in a BP SPILL BILL tightening industry controls, on the theory the bill will be hard to oppose.”

This is interesting, if true, but adding unpopular cap-and-trade or similar provisions to reduce energy supplies and raise energy prices is going to be a heavy weight on any bill, no matter how popular it is.  One problem with trying to take political advantage of the BP oil leak is that the worse it gets, the more it makes Obama look like an ineffectual leader and thereby weakens him politically.

This is not to say that I think this is fair to the President.  The leak is BP’s fault, and BP’s unpreparedness to stop it before it became a disaster is shameful.

Murkowski Update

Congress has been away on the Memorial Day recess this week.  On Thursday, June 10, the Senate is scheduled to debate and vote on Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) Resolution of Disapproval of the EPA’s Endangerment Finding.  I still think it’s going to be a very close vote, although the numbers may shift after it’s clear whether it’s going to pass or fail.  How a number of Democratic Senators from heartland States are going to vote is still unknown.  It was reported this week that a consortium of environmental pressure groups was going to run several hundred thousand dollars of radio and television advertising opposing S. J. Res. 26 in the States of some of these Senators.

Across the States


Connecticut Governor M.Jodi Rell (D) this week vetoed a “green” energy bill, the ironically titled Act for Reducing Electricity Costs and Promoting Renewable Energy, because she feared it would raise electricity costs thereby further weakening and already weak economy. The Governor also expressed displeasure with the process by which the bill passed in the state Legislature. The Democratic-controlled House introduced the bill at 3:00 A.M on the last day of the legislative calendar, and it passed at 6:00 A.M.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary check out the Coalition’s website,

In the News

Energy Regulation in the States: A Wakeup Call
Daniel Simmons,, 28 May 2010

It’s Not a Good Season for Al Gore’s Fan Club
Mark Landsbaum, Orange Punch, 27 May 2010

Lost in the Gulf: Perspective
Ron Ross, American Spectator, 27 May 2010

Climategate and the Scientific Elite
Iain Murray, National Review, 26 May 2010

NASA Accused of Climategate Stalling
Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, 26 May 2010

Push To Balance Climate Debate in Classroom Heats up in Colorado
Nancy Lofholm, Denver Post, 26 May 2010

Americans Are Becoming Global Warming Skeptics
Mary Kate Cary, US News & World Report, 26 May 2010

The Green Dog Isn’t Barking at the NYT
Chris Horner,, 24 May 2010

Obama’s Choice: Pests over People
William Yeatman, Washington Times, 24 May 2010

Europe’s Climate Chief under Pressure over ‘Missing’ Emissions Traders
Felicity Carus, Guardian, 24 May 2010

News You Can Use

Climategate Is Changing Public Perception of Global Warming

  • In April, a Rasmussen poll showed more than 40 percent of voters say global warming is not serious, which is a new high
  • A survey in February by the BBC found that only 26 percent of Britons believed that “climate change is happening and is now established as largely manmade,” down from 41 percent in November 2009.
  • A poll conducted for the German magazine Der Spiegel in March found that 42 percent of Germans feared global warming, down from 62 percent four years earlier.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Murkowski Resolution Vote Set for 10th June

A vote on the Senate floor on Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) resolution of disapproval of the EPA’s endangerment finding was delayed once again this week, but a definite date has now been set.  Senator Murkowski obtained a unanimous consent agreement to hold the vote on S. J. Res. 26 on Thursday, 10th June.

My CEI colleague Marlo Lewis’s latest article on why the endangerment finding should be overturned was published on Pajamas Media this week. Americans for Prosperity’s Phil Kerpen also wrote an excellent article in support of the Murkowski Resolution on Fox Forum. Those wishing to contact their Senators in support of the resolution may do so at Freedom Action.

Protesters, described as Tea Party activists, rallied in front of Senator Jay Rockefeller’s (D-WV) office in Charleston this week in favor of the Murkowski resolution.  Senator Rockefeller quickly released a statement that said, “Senator Murkowski and I have been working to find a way to suspend EPA climate regulations because we believe that Congress – not an unelected federal agency – should decide these enormous economic issues.”  Of course, Rockefeller, has his own bill to delay EPA regulations for two years, but it sounds like he is now leaning toward voting for the Murkowski resolution.

Casey and Carper Plan to Thwart Murkowski Resolution

Senators Bob Casey (D-Penna.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) are putting together legislation designed to defeat the Murkowski resolution.  Their plan is to legislate the EPA’s proposed tailoring rule that exempts small sources of greenhouse gas emissions from regulation under the Clean Air Act (at least for a few years).  The tailoring rule as issued by EPA is likely to be overturned in federal court simply because the Clean Air Act doesn’t give EPA the flexibility to regulate some sources and not others.  The Act states that sources emitting more than 250 tons per year of the regulated pollutant are to be regulated.  Not many sources emit more than 250 tons of air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, but millions of sources produce more than 250 tons of carbon dioxide a year.

By enacting the tailoring rule, Casey and Carper can argue that they are protecting millions of small businesses and farms while still retaining regulation of greenhouse gases.  This might appeal to Senators in the middle who favor government control of energy use, but realize that doing so using the Clean Air Act is going to lead to a regulatory trainwreck.  However, enacting the tailoring rule would also have the effect of enacting the endangerment finding and the Clean Air Act regulations that follow from it.  This would quash the lawsuits that have been filed challenging the endangerment finding.

There have been rumors that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would like to attach the Casey-Carper language to a bill on the Senate floor as soon as possible.  However, it now looks as if no bill to which Casey-Carper would be a germane amendment will come to the floor before the 10th June vote on the Murkowski resolution.  Thus if the Murkowski resolution passes, the Senate will be unlikely to pass Casey-Carper as well.

Across the States


In an effort to help close a $1.2 billion budget deficit, the Oklahoma legislature this week passed S.B. 1267, which would suspend 30 state credits, including one for wind power generators. According to Chuck Hodge, the Vice President of DMI Industries, Oklahoma’s only wind power manufacturer, S.B. 1267 would cause wind developers to avoid the State, which means that this legislation is doubly good for Oklahomans: It would help cut the state’s deficit, and it would spare electricity consumers from expensive and unreliable wind power.

Climategate Update

Last Friday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a request seeking records from the University of Virginia under that state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In particular, CEI wants to know why UVA is resisting the request by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for the files of former Associate Professor Michael E. Mann, author of the debunked “hockey stick” global temperature reconstruction, at the same time that the University is complying with a FOIA request from Greenpeace for the files of former Professor Patrick Michaels, a prominent skeptic of catastrophic climate change. AG Cuccinelli has begun an investigation of possible misuse of state funds by Mann. To learn more, read this piece by CEI’s Chris Horner in Sunday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch.

This week, CEI  filed a lawsuit to force NASA to produce records related to last year’s “ClimateGate” scandal. The lawsuit arises out of three CEI Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, initiated in August 2007 and originally seeking internal documents about NASA improperly boosting U.S. temperature data in this decade.  Five months after the first request, CEI sought documents concerning Dr. Gavin Schmidt, a taxpayer-funded NASA researcher who spends working hours running and writing for a third-party website ( that was created to defend the now-debunked “Hockey Stick” temperature graph. After CEI submitted this FOIA request, timestamps were retroactively removed from Real Climate posts.  CEI is presenting the Court with original website postings that establish how NASA facilities and staff, at taxpayer expense, are being employed to push a specific policy agenda. Click here to read the legal brief.

A Kerry Kerfuffle

Last week, Senator John Kerry wrote a fact-free opinion piece in The Hill claiming that global warming is a clear and present danger to American national security. To set the record straight, CEI’s William Yeatman wrote a letter to The Hill detailing Kerry’s exaggerations and misstatements. Clearly, the letter got under the Senator’s skin, because within hours, the Senator published a response in the Huffington Post, in which the Senator opted for ad hominem attacks rather than explain the shoddy reasoning behind his original opinion piece. Kerry’s tortured response, in turn, drew the attention of the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto, who wrote a very witty rebuttal, with a particular focus on the Senator’s hypocritical relationship with military authority.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary check out the Coalition’s website,

In the News

States Divided Over New EPA Rules
Shannon Goessling, Washington Times, 21 May 2010

Cap-and-Trade Magic Show
James Valvo, Washington Times, 21 May 2010

Inequitable in Ecuador
Quin Hillyer, American Spectator, 21 May 2010

Electric Dreamin’
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 21 May 2010

Scientists Scramble To Address Radio Campaign
Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, 20 May 2010

The Green Jobs Myth
Investor’s Business Daily editorial, 20 May 2010

The EPA’s Shocking Power Grab
George Allen & Marlo Lewis, Forbes, 18 May 2010

UVA’s Dishonorable Double Standard
Barbara Hollingsworth, Washington Examiner, 18 May 2010

Climate Policy Needs a Team “B”
David Schnare,, 18 May 2010

News You Can Use

Maybe It’s the Sun

Despite the absence of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, Jupiter’s climate changed drastically this month when a giant belt of clouds circling the planet mysteriously disappeared. As noted by the BlogProf, this follows recent discoveries that Triton, a moon of Neptune, is rapidly warming and that Mars’s polar ice caps are evaporating.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Murkowski Resolution Debate Heats Up

In a story in Environment and Energy Daily (reprinted on the NY Times’s web site), Darren Samuelsohn reports that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) predicts the Murkowski resolution of disapproval of the EPA’s endangerment finding will pass the Senate when it is brought to the floor for a vote next week.  “I think it will pass,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “There are a lot of people who will be in the camp of, ‘We should do it, not the EPA.'”

I think that is a sensible observation.  Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is among those who favor reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but who do not want it to be done by using the Clean Air Act.  That is because she has concluded that applying the Clean Air Act to carbon dioxide emissions will result in a regulatory nightmare and wreck the economy (which is also sensible).  This conclusion is gaining ground as Members of Congress look at the issue.  Therefore, I do not think the Senate vote is merely “symbolic,” as political commentator Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute told Evan Lehmann and Jessica Leber of Climate Wire (also reprinted on the New York Times’s web site).

My guess is that Murkowski’s resolution, S. J. Res. 26, will pass narrowly and that pressure will then build on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to schedule a House vote.  One of the interesting results of the congressional primary elections so far is that strong opponents of cap-and-trade in both parties are doing well.  Steve Milloy of has noticed the trend, as has the Huffington Post.  Democratic House Members worried about their re-election may plead with Pelosi that they need a vote against EPA regulation to take back home. An indication that Pelosi may already be feeling some heat is that this week she said, as reported by Bob Cusack and Ben Geman in the Hill, that Congress should legislate global warming policy rather than let EPA regulate.

This week nineteen free market and conservative non-profit groups sent a joint letter to Senators in support of the Murkowski resolution.  It was written and organized by my CEI colleague, Marlo Lewis.  Marlo and former Virginia Governor and Senator George Allen also published an excellent op-ed on the Forbes Magazine web site that explains why stopping EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide emissions is a constitutional as well as economic imperative.

Several environmental groups have been running ads against the Murkowski resolution.  Americans for Prosperity has held a bunch of rallies in support of the resolution in the States of key Senators over the past few weeks.  This week Freedom Action (of which I am director) started running radio ads in six States-Virginia, West Virginia, North Dakota, New Mexico, Montana, New Mexico, and Alaska-which tie the ClimateGate scandal to the EPA Endangerment Finding and urge listeners to e-mail their Senators.

Obama Wants To Raise CAFE Again

President Barack Obama today issued a memorandum directing federal agencies to develop tougher new fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks beginning in the 2017 model year and to develop fuel economy standards for medium and big trucks for the first time. This follows the new standards announced in April that will begin with the 2012 model year.  It’s not clear to me that consumers are going to want to buy the models that the Congress and the Obama Administration have decreed will be offered in 2012, but the automakers are now resigned to taking orders from their federal masters rather than their customers. My prediction is that another massive bailout of the automakers is inevitable.

“Invaluable” Climate Reports Released

The National Academies of Science this week released three reports prepared by the National Research Council that endorse the scientific case for global warming alarmism and claim that it is urgent that the federal government adopt mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Former New York Times environment reporter Andrew Revkin on his New York Times blog called the reports “invaluable.”  Yeah, I’ve got a lot of invaluable junk stored in my basement, too, that perhaps I can interest Andy in buying.

The fact is that these three reports are put-up jobs arranged by NAS President Ralph Cicerone to counter the damage done by the Climategate scandal.  I have seen enough of Dr. Cicerone in action to know that he is a political conman first and a scientist second.  I wouldn’t trust him to give a straight answer on the time of day.  The carefully-chosen members of the NRC committees that wrote the reports are mostly committed advocates of alarmism and energy rationing policies.  Mark Landsbaum of the Orange County Register agrees.

4th International Conference on Climate Change

I was one of 700 people attending the Heartland Institute’s fourth International Conference on Climate Change this week.  As with the first three conferences, Joe Bast, James Taylor, Nikki Comerford, and the Heartland staff put together a well-run conference with many outstanding speakers.  All of the keynote and panel presentations are available on video here.

There are a number of famous names among the speakers who gave excellent talks-Richard Lindzen, Bob Carter, Steve McIntyre, Nils-Axel Morner, Ian Plimer, and others whose talks I missed (which is the problem with having four concurrent sessions).  One less famous speaker, whose talk I recommend watching, is Willis Eschenbach.

Across the States

West Virginia

On Tuesday night, the Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing in Charleston, West Virginia, on its proposed veto of a Clean Water Act permit for Spruce Fork 1 coal mine in Logan County, which is already operating. The EPA is exercising this authority for the first time ever, in order to protect an insect that isn’t even an endangered species. More than 800 people attended, and scores of miners, small businessmen, and community activists gave testimony urging the EPA to spare their livelihoods. The EPA’s veto would result in the direct loss of 250 jobs paying an average of $62,000, and would also deprive the Logan County school system of more than $17 million annually.

Around the World


Since becoming President, Barrack Obama has cited the “success” of Spain’s green energy policies eight times, most recently in Illinois, three weeks ago. So it was major news when Professor Gabriel Calzada, an economist at King Juan Carlos University, released a study in 2009 concluding that Spain’s ultra-wasteful green energy subsidies were killing 2.2 jobs for every job they created. After CEI’s Chris Horner broke news of the study in the U.S., the Obama administration commissioned a hatchet job analysis to discredit Calzada’s work. This week, Professor Calzada was vindicated when a government report was leaked conceding that the green energy subsidies are unsustainable. The headline of the Spanish daily La Gaceta says it all: “Spain Admits That the Green Economy as Sold to Obama Is a Disaster.”


Bloomberg reported this week that Christiana Figueres, a Costa Rican diplomat, will succeed Yvo de Boer as the head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on July 1st. Soon after the announcement, she told reporters that she is confident that a legally binding, international greenhouse gas emissions reductions treaty can be reached in 3 years. We’ve heard that before. In 2007, de Boer championed the “Bali Roadmap,” which was supposed to lead to a climate treaty at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC last December in Copenhagen, Denmark. Of course, the Copenhagen Climate Conference foundered amid recriminations over how to share the $45 trillion price tag for a global climate treaty.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary check out the Coalition’s website,

In the News

Are We Listening Yet?
Chris Horner, American Spectator, 7 May 2010

Drill, Baby, Still
Investor’s Business Daily editorial, 7 May 2010

A Positive Human Influence on Global Warming?
Robert Bradley,, 6 May 2010

A Sudden Acceleration of Regulation
Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 6 May 2010

A Gush to Judgment
Iain Murray, Washington Examiner, 5 May 2010

EU Investigates Cap-and-Trade Fraud
Leigh Phillips, EU Observer, 5 May 2010

Keep The Lights On
Peter Ferrara, American Spectator, 5 May 2010

The Costs of Carbon Controls
Marlo Lewis,, 4 May 2010

Gore: From Sanctimonious to Ridiculous
Victor David Hanson, PJM, 2 May 2010

News You Can Use

CEOs: California Has Worst Business Climate

American CEOs consider California to be the worst place to do business in the country, according to a new poll by Chief Executive Magazine. Not coincidentally, the Golden State is also the national leader in onerous environmental regulations, including AB 32, and high energy prices.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Update on Murkowski’s Disapproval Resolution

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has at least until the Memorial Day recess to offer her resolution under the Congressional Review Act to disapprove the Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare.  S. J. Res. 26 has 41 co-sponsors, including three Democrats-Lincoln (Ark.), Landrieu (La.), and Nelson (Neb.).  Nine more votes are needed to get to the 51 needed for passage.

It appears likely that Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine will vote against the resolution and that Scott Brown, the new Republican Senator from Massachusetts, will vote for it.  That means Murkowski needs to find eight more Democrats.  The most likely are from coal and manufacturing States.  If the White House sees it as a threat, then they may lean pretty hard on some of these Democrats to vote no.  On the other hand, Murkowski has been assiduously lobbying her colleagues for months.  My guess is that it will be very close, but the resolution will pass.  The vote could occur any time in the next three weeks.

If the Senate passes S. J. Res. 26, then the House can take up the resolution at any time.  The House Democratic leadership will not bring it to the floor, which means that the only way to get it to the floor for a vote is through a discharge petition signed by a majority of House Members.  There are two identical House resolutions of disapproval.  H. J. Res. 76 was introduced by Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and now has 47 co-sponsors.  H. J. Res. 77 was introduced by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) and now has 115 co-sponsors.  That’s a start, but still a long way from 218 signatures on a discharge petition.

Graham Clears Everything Up

The picaresque saga featuring Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) grows ever more farcical.  Kerry this week once again promised to release a draft of their energy-rationing bill next Wednesday, with or without Graham’s support.  Graham’s comments have been all over the map.  He said that there was still a chance this year to get the sixty votes necessary to pass the bill.  Then he said that the bill was dead for this year.  Most recently, he said this in an interview with Environment and Energy Daily: “There is no bipartisan support for a cap-and-trade bill based on global warming. There is bipartisan support in the future, at the right time and in the right circumstances, for an energy independence legislation, green job creation and clean air.”

BP’s big oil spill off the Louisiana coast complicates the issue.  On the one hand, Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) announced that he would oppose any bill that included more offshore oil production.  Several other Senators on the left would probably do the same.  On the other hand, several Senators in the middle have said they will not support an energy-rationing bill unless it has more offshore oil production in it.  What I think Kerry should do is what he did with cap-and-trade, which he renamed “pollution reduction and investment,” and the gasoline tax, which he renamed “linked fee.”  He should call it the Offshore Wind, Solar, and Other Energy Title.  That way no one will know that it’s about offshore oil.

Across the States

Anti-AB32 Initiative Will Proceed to November Ballot

California voters will have the choice whether to proceed with costly carbon controls in the midst of an economic depression. On Monday, The California Jobs Initiative submitted 800,000 signatures of support for a ballot initiative that would delay implementation of AB 32, California’s 2006 global warming law, until the State’s unemployment declines to 5.5% (it currently stands at 12.8%). That’s more than double the number of signatures required to get on November’s ballot.

Coal State Democrats Protest the EPA Coal Crackdown

Representatives Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV), and Rick Boucher (D-Va.) yesterday sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing their concerns over the EPA’s plans to shut down surface coal mining in Appalachia (and the leading revenue generator in West Virginia) in order to protect the mayfly, an insect that isn’t even an endangered species. In fact, the EPA established bug-protections so stringent that they would outlaw almost all construction near an intermittent or ephemeral stream, but the EPA is trying to target the regulations solely on Appalachian coal mining. Reps. Rahall, Mollohan, and Boucher asked Administrator Jackson why “a hardrock mining operation in California, or a shopping mall construction project in New Jersey…should not be held to the same standard.” Good question.

Around the World

Obama Loses a Clean Energy Talking Point

Chris Horner, from The Daily Caller

Spain’s socialist Zapatero government has laid the groundwork for abandoning its vaunted “green jobs” schemes, admitting in an official if not yet released document the damning criticisms levied by an academic team. This is very bad news for the Obama administration whose leader on eight separate occasions instructed us to “think about what’s happening in countries like Spain” if we wanted to see his model and vision for a “green economy.” He would launch America into a new era of prosperity premised in “new technologies” like windmills-yes, he actually said that. Read more here.

UK Elections: The Greens Gain, a Nation Loses

Iain Murray

Britain’s inconclusive election merely reaffirmed that the nation is going to go further down the road of unsustainable energy policy.  Not only was the Green party leader, Caroline Lucas, elected to be the party’s first ever MP in the former Conservative stronghold of Brighton, but millionaire playboy Zac Goldsmith was elected nominally under the Conservative banner but stressed he was in Parliament to work on green issues.  Goldsmith has proved extremely influential on party leader David Cameron, and the Conservatives’ manifesto (platform) took a very alarmist line on climate and energy issues.

At time of writing, there are also suggestions that David Cameron’s outreach to the Liberal Democrats to join a coalition government includes further concessions on a low-carbon economy, although it is hard to see how much further the Conservatives can go.  With a mounting public sector debt crisis the size of Greece’s, a Prime Minister David Cameron and his adviser Goldsmith might well see their dreams of emissions reduction realized through the simple expedience of economic collapse.  It is certainly hard to see how Britain can recover economically with the albatross of decarbonization hanging around her neck.

Green China?

Proponents of cap-and-trade have taken to arguing that climate change legislation is an economic necessity because the U.S. risks falling behind in a global, zero-sum competition for green industrial supremacy. The influential columnist Thomas Friedman, for example, has prophesied that future historians will associate the 21st century’s first decade with China’s “Green Leap Forward.” He also has warned that the Chinese are going to “clean our clock” unless the Congress passes a cap-and-trade energy-rationing scheme. This is ridiculous: Green energy is mere window dressing in China, which is building a new coal fired power plant every week to meet its growing energy needs. This reality was reinforced today, when the New York Times reported that China’s “surging demand for power from oil and coal has led to the largest six-month increase in the tonnage of human generated greenhouse gases ever by a single country.”

Subprime Carbon

Julie Walsh

The European criminal intelligence agency (Europol) has said that as much as 90 percent of the entire market volume on emissions exchanges was caused by fraudulent activity.  Examples of fraud abound.

Worse, Mark Shapiro in a Harper’s Magazine article entitled “Conning the Climate” details the factors in carbon trading that make fraud inherent in the system:

If cap-and-trade in the United States were to become reality along the lines of proposals now before Congress, up to 2 billion of the new credits would be drawn from carbon offsets, potentially increasing the worldwide supply of such credits by a factor of seven.

The United Nations has certified twenty-six firms worldwide-in U.N. lingo, Designated Operational Entities (DOEs)-to “validate” emissions offsets and then to “verify,” often years later, that those reductions actually occurred.

The developers of emissions-offset projects are by and large funded or owned outright by multinational firms, particularly financial houses such as JP Morgan Chase, which owns the biggest developer in the world, Eco-Securities, and Goldman Sachs, which has a significant interest in the largest U.S.-based developer, Blue Source.

Far from being independent third-party auditors, the DOEs get paid by these very developers and have to compete vigorously to win business.

But only 4 percent of requests for verification of offsets since 2005 have been rejected.

A Berlin think tank, the Öko-Institut, conducted a  review of the validation process on behalf of World Wildlife Fund International and concluded that none of the top five validations scored higher than a D in an A-to-F grading scale.

Mark Shapiro met with Mark Trexler, the director of Climate Strategies and Markets for DNV (one of the two main companies in the carbon offset-verification business), who said that the reality is that everyone- emitting businesses, carbon-project developers, entrepreneurs in the developing world, and governments-has a vested interest in validating as many projects as possible.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary check out the Coalition’s website,